monday morning brief oct 2


Good morning.

It's midnight in Pyongyang.

More ripples in Twitterverse of Trump undercutting Tillerson. Hawks eating up Trump's gesture towards military force. When the POTUS says these things, it will factor into NK's risk profile if it sees a US force coming towards it, whether peaceful or not.

The Warmbier torture story is still going around and around.. It is being used and will be used as a bolster for war. "Look at the grieving parents".  Remember that the medical examiners found no evidence of torture - and noted that he'd been well cared for. Something had previously aphyxicated him. The coroner also noted that many things can cause pain and don't cause lasting damage. So on balance, don't believe the propaganda, but do remember something happened, whether self inflicted or not.

The Wall Street Journal has a column today focusing on deterrence and containment rather than simple acceptance or simple war. The writer reminds us that this is the strategy used for the Soviet Union. My estimate is that this is probably where the bulk of the realpolitik types in the USA fall. But I am afraid I've never heard of North Korea trying to spread Communism, unlike the USSR. So perhaps "Deterrence" alone is all that is needed. I would rather avoid war, myself.

Summary: the full effects of Trump's lack of leadership skill are still sinking in. I anticipate later today or tomorrow we'll start seeing the diplomatic shadows visibly shift as various statements are made and emissaries go from place to place. Tillerson's resigning is still definitely a potential outcome. Non-Trump conservatives are looking for options besides war. 

Tags: #DPRK #politics #trumpenwar #north korea #trump